Growth from creative destruction


Summary

Sometimes hitting the reset button and trying something new is the best way to resolve problems in your business. Today Matt and Chris are talking about how creative destruction can get you out of a rut, move your business on and allow you to grow.

Letting go of systems and procedures that you’ve trusted for a long time can be a scary challenge, but it can save your business from stagnation. New technologies can free up your time, automate processes, bring in profit and generally make your life easier.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out what new processes and systems we recommend for your business.

Hit subscribe for more inspiring content from the Rusty Monkey team, and leave a comment with your ideas of subjects you’d like us to tackle next.

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Happy viewing!



[Sounds of destruction]

Chris: What are you doing? What the hell… What the hell are you doing?

Matt: Well Chris, I’m just doing a bit of creative destruction. Hi, I’m Matt.

Chris: I’m Chris.

Matt: And today we’re talking about…

Chris: Creative destruction! On a Monkey Monday!

Matt: Monkey Monday. So what is creative destruction? Well, it’s kind of a term - it’s not the computer game, not the video game, for a start. I bet you’re disappointed now. Loads of people have just switched off.

Chris: Oh really?

Matt: We’ll be able to see that on our YouTube stats. It’s a term, it was sort of an economic term really, first, created by Joseph Schumpeter…

Chris: It’s probably ‘Joseph’, isn’t it?

Matt: I don't know.

Chris: Schump’ter?

Matt: It wasn’t us anyway. It’s a term we use in the company quite a lot… Maybe I could tell my story, I guess.

Chris: Yeah, go on then.

Matt: So the first time I heard it actually was when I was doing some development work - I’m not really a developer but I have enough knowledge to be dangerous - and I’d spent maybe a couple of days trying to achieve something, and I was frustrated and I was kind of, really, I felt like I was just so close, I was just so nearly there. And one of our more experienced developers came over to me and had a look at where I’d got to, and he said, ‘Look, I have an idea for you. But you’re not going to like it.’ And I said, ‘Go on,’ and he said, ‘I think if you went about it this way, you’d get there. This, this and this.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I’ve spent two days on this and I’m really close.’ And he said, ‘Look, you don’t have to destroy this straightaway. Park it over here. Let’s version that, and just start again, spend a few hours at it, see where you get to.’ And he said, ‘Let’s just do some creative destruction here.’ And it was hard, it was really hard, because I’d invested all that time and effort, and it was hard for me to do. But I did it, and actually within two or three hours I think I’d got to exactly where I needed to be, and I’m not sure if I’d persevered down this road I would have got there. I felt I was close but… It was revelatory for me in a way because it really helped me embrace - and helped the company embrace, I think overall - the idea of creative destruction.

Chris: Yeah, so why would you do it? Without it, your growth can stall, just because everyone’s doing exactly what they’ve done, forever. So if you carry on doing everything that you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results.

Matt: Yeah, and I think the bigger you are as a company, the harder it can be, sometimes. I mean let’s look at the NHS as a really good example. How it’s still using really old computer systems, but because of the size of it and the nature of it, it’s very hard to do that. So the bigger you are, the harder it is to sometimes embrace creative destruction, but as well it does mean that you are slower moving and you can’t be as agile as those smaller companies around you.

Chris: Yeah, and it just helps you stay ahead of the curve, really, and makes your business happier, in a way. So one of the things we did was moved all our invoicing online - I remember that being a tricky moment, when we just had to stop everything we’d been doing for 10 years, or whatever. That was a tricky one, wasn’t it?

Matt: The quoting?

Chris: No, well we did - we moved from spreadsheets to Xero, we use.

Matt: Oh, sorry, yeah, you’re right. Yeah, I mean there’s been loads, we’ve changed so many bits of software in the company. And when we talk about creative destruction it can be lots of different things. It can be your management structure, it can be the way you recruit, it can be the actual physical hours you ask your staff to do. Any business process, any piece of software, really anything, anything that makes your business run, will be based on some kind of structure, philosophy, software, something, and it’s all worth reviewing, and potentially destroying it. Just like our blackboard.

Chris: Yep. So how do you do it? It says, point one here, is to analyse phrases like, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ ‘We’ve always done it like this.’

Matt: Yeah, I mean they’re dangerous phrases, aren’t they. So if you are in a company and somebody new joins, and they say, ‘But why are you doing it like this?’ and the answer is, ‘Well, that is how we’ve always done it,’ it’s dangerous, because they’re maybe saying - they may already know a better way. So you really wanna embrace and analyse anything that anybody says that’s like that. And explore their knowledge and expertise, because maybe they know something that you don’t, and maybe there’s a better way of doing it.

Chris: Yeah, you should review your systems every 6 to 12 months.

Matt: Yeah. It sounds a lot, sounds really aggressive, doesn’t it. What every 6 months I’ve got to see if I’m still using the right accounting software? In many ways, yeah. Have a look around, because with each year things move so fast, especially in technology. There are better things out there, that you don’t have to live with anymore, and it buys you life and time.

Chris: Yeah, you could be losing profit by just not looking - not doing research every 6 to 12 months.

Matt: Yeah, it does sound a lot, but it’s definitely worth doing. And once you make these small little - it can sometimes be painful, and let’s not forget that. It can sometimes be painful. Once you make those adjustments, it can have a real positive effect.

Chris: The next one is to identify weaknesses within the user journey.

Matt: Yeah, we talk about user journey a lot, but that will help you identify parts of your processes or software or service that could need attention and could benefit from some creative destruction. You know, maybe your deliveries aren’t going out on time, and they haven’t been for a very long time. You go, ‘Well, perhaps we use a different delivery company,’ or ‘Perhaps we totally change the way we deliver,’ whatever it might be. So be brave and embrace creative destruction, and look for those things out there where opportunity could lie. Because there’ll be companies around you who are newer, maybe don’t have the systems you have, and they’ll be adopting new approaches, newer and faster things, and could end up being more competitive.

Chris: Yeah, and you’ll find clues from various places. So use feedback and reviews. You might find a Google review or somewhere online reviewing your place, and that will pinpoint an issue that you’ve got that you didn’t even know about.

Matt: Yeah, great bit of advice. So get out there, go destroy parts of your company to make it better. We totally encourage you to do so.

Chris: Yeah, it’s really cathartic.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: Alright, well we’ll see you next week.

Matt: Yeah, cheers!

Chris: Oh, and you should subscribe to our channel, and look at our groin videos.

Matt: Yes, our groin videos.

Chris: This one is what YouTube thinks you’d like.

Matt: And my groin is all about what we recommend. This is becoming a thing.

Chris: It is.

Matt: Yes, check out our groin videos. Bye!

Chris: Enjoy!

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